Ever wonder which states are home to the most billionaires? Forbes provides an annual listing of the world's billionaires, and a review of the list shows that even though some states seem rather obvious, others might be a little surprising. The United States is also home to five of the world's top 10 cities with the most resident billionaires.
Home to Silicon Valley and a wealth of celebrities that reside in the Los Angeles area, it's not surprising that this state tops the list for the most billionaires in America. Nearly 160 billionaires, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg, Google's co-founder Larry Page plus famed filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, are enjoying this state's desirable climate and proximity to their business interests.
Most of California's billionaires live in Los Angeles. However, a large number of billionaires also live in the San Francisco area.
2. New York
New York City tops the list of billionaire cities, and it's also one of the United States' primary business centers. With 112 billionaires claiming residence in the state of New York, many of the big corporations run their offices out of New York City. The state of New York is home to big business billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Leonard Lauder of Esteé Lauder, fashion mogul Ralph Lauren, media giant Rupert Murdoch, David Rockefeller, and Donald Trump.
Not only is it one of the largest states, but also it's one of the wealthiest. Texas is home to 56 billionaires, many of whom made their fortunes from the oil and gas industry, though Texas' billionaires aren't just wealthy oil barons. Alice Walton of Walmart calls Texas home, as does Michael Dell of Dell computers and Jerry Jones owner of the Dallas Cowboys. John Paul DeJoria is also residing in Texas, living the dream as a former homeless person turned entrepreneur who co-founded hair care giant Paul Mitchell.
Even though Houston may be known as the oil capital of Texas, the city doesn't have the most billionaires in the state. Dallas has 17 billionaires that call its city home.
Florida's beautiful beaches and luxurious lifestyle bring the city to fourth place. With 52 billionaires residing in the state of Florida, including media mogul Ted Turner who started CNN in 1980, heiress of the Campbell Soup empire, Charlotte Colket Weber, and Fred DeLuca who founded Subway, and Micky Arison, former CEO of Carnival Cruises.
Perhaps a surprising addition to the list, Illinois is home to 18 billionaires. Many of the state's billionaires are members of the Pritzker family, heirs to the Hyatt Hotel chain, though Chicago is also home to television and media superstar Oprah Winfrey. Ty Warner of Beanie Babies fame and William Wrigley who made his billions from his family's chewing gum empire also reside in the state of Illinois.
Massachusetts is also home to 18 billionaires, including Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots. Also, Jim Davis, the Chairman of New Balance and Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson, reside in Massachusetts.
Connecticut is home to 17 billionaires, primarily investors, most of who reside in the town of Greenwich. Providing billionaires with close proximity to New York City, and with a lot more space to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle with big, lavish homes and large estates, this state offers billionaires the best of both worlds. Famed Hedge Fund manager Ray Dalio and co-founder of AQR Capital Management, Clifford Asness reside in the state.
You might be surprised to find that Georgia has 13 resident billionaires. The founder of Spanx Sara Blakely and the son of the founder of Chick-fil-A Donald Bubba Cathy, call Georgia home. Also, the co-founders of Home Depot, Bernard Marcus and Arthur Blank who now owns the Atlanta Falcons, football team call Georgia home.
Washington ties Georgia with 13 resident billionaires, including Steve Ballmer former CEO of Microsoft and Bill Gates co-founder of Microsoft. Jeff Bezos founder and CEO of Amazon as well as former CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz, reside in the state of Washington.
The Bottom Line
It appears that even though the United States' billionaires are spread across the country, they do seem to congregate in a few key regions. Billionaires that are still actively involved in their business interests may elect to live close to the locations where they work or operate their businesses. Some frugal billionaires may also choose to reside in locations where property taxes might be more favorable for them. It is true that many of the world's billionaires like to live the lifestyle of the ultra-wealthy, so selecting a location that provides them with the lifestyle they enjoy and a certain amount of security and privacy is a big part of the equation.